Aaron Stauffer

Associate Director, Online Learning and Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice

Rev. Aaron Stauffer, Ph.D. is the Associate Director of Online Learning and the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice at Vanderbilt Divinity School. His scholarly and organizing work lies at the intersection of the academy, the Christian church, and community organizing. His current book with Oxford University Press is titled: Listening to the Spirit: The Radical Social Gospel, Sacred Values, and Broad-based Community Organizing and will be released in February 2024.

Listening to the Spirit is a work of Christian social ethics in the tradition of the radical social gospel. The book addresses the political limits in community organizing by arguing that organizing networks can build deeper solidarity through sacred values, and provides Christians with political theological tools to understand the relational meeting and the listening campaign as religious practices. Drawing on discussions of racial capitalism, radical democracy, feminist theory, and philosophical theology, Listening to the Spirit crafts a political theological framework to interpret these organizing practices in ways that Christians have traditionally understood through the Holy Spirit.

An ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA), Aaron most recently was the Executive Director and then Special Advisor of Religions for Peace USA, where he helped launch a national anti-Islamophobia program based in the southeast, along with organizing national senior religious leaders on issues of common concern such as mass incarceration, immigration, and climate change.  Before his doctoral work, Aaron was an organizer with the Industrial Areas Foundation in San Antonio, Tx.  Aaron is active in his denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has been active participant in international ecumenical and interfaith organizations, such as the World Council of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches. Currently, Aaron lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee with his partner, Lauren and their sons, Julian and August.